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The Lao National Commission on Drug Control and Supervision and UNODC sign a MoU to cooperate in the implementation of a new food security and sustainable alternative livelihood project in Oudomxay Province, Lao PDR

ODXY-MOU-30 11 09Vientiane, 30 November 2009: The Lao National Commission on Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) signed the MOU to strengthen cooperation and partnership in the implementation of the project on " Increasing Food Security and Promoting Licit Crop Production and Small Farmer Enterprise Development in Lao PDR and Myanmar" . The project receives financial support from the Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) of the Government of Federal Republic of Germany for the total amount of US$ 2.3 million.

The Government of Lao PDR in cooperation with UNODC and the international community has made intensive efforts to eliminate opium poppy cultivation in the country. Opium production in Lao PDR has declined over 90% in the past 10 years.

The new National Drug Control Master Plan (2009-2013) places high priority to sustain the opium elimination by providing sustainable alternative livelihood and food security to the former opium growing communities. In response to this national priority, the project aims to increase food security and agricultural production and develop small farmer enterprise and local entrepreneurship as well as sustain opium reduction in the target communities.

The project incorporates the following main components: improvement of food security and agricultural production; development of small farmers' associations and cooperatives and local entrepreneurship; and prevention of opium production and consumption through intensive awareness campaigns, provision of treatment services and local capacity building for drug prevention and monitoring.

In Lao PDR, the project covers a total of 50 target villages in Xay, La and Hoon Districts of Oudomxay Province. The project will be implemented jointly between UNODC and the Government of Lao PDR through the coordination of LCDC and with full participation of the Oudomxay provincial, district and local authorities.

The MOU was signed by Mr. Kou Chansina, Vice Chairman of LCDC and Mr. Leik Boonwaat, UNODC Representative to Lao PDR and witnessed by Mr. Wolfgang Thoran , Duputy Head of Mission and, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and Mr. Jorge Rios, Chief of Sustainable Livelihood Unit, UNODC Vienna.